1933 Double Eagle to be sold


12 March 2021
The 'fabled and elusive' 1933 Double Eagle Coin is to be sold by current owner Stuart Weitzman, in a high profile Sotheby's auction featuring just three treasures from the entrepreneur's collection.

The 'Three Treasures – Collected by Stuart Weitzman' live auction will take place at Sotheby's New York on 8 June 2021, and will feature just three incredibly rare items:

  • The 'fabled and elusive' 1933 Double Eagle Coin
  • The sole-surviving example of the British Guiana One-Cent Magenta, known as the most
    famous and valuable stamp in the world;
  • The Inverted Jenny Plate Block, the most well-known and sought-after American stamp rarity

The Double Eagle coin and the British Guiana stamp will be offered with estimates of $10/15 million each and are poised to set new world auction records in their respective categories.

The Inverted Jenny will carry an estimate of $5/7 million, set to eclipse its own record for an American philatelic item.

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Richard Austin, Sotheby’s Global Head of Books & Manuscripts, said:

'As the most aspirational objects in their respective collecting fields and each with their own illustrious provenance, the Double Eagle, the British Guiana and the Inverted Jenny all hold an indelible place in history, and in our collective imagination.

'Each treasure is unique in its own right: the 1933 Double Eagle as the only legally owned example, the British Guiana as the only one known, and the Inverted Jenny as the only plate block from a unique sheet of stamps. It would be a true privilege to present just one of these sought-after rarities at auction but offering all three one-of-a-kind treasures together in the same sale is a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence.'

Stuart Weitzman pioneered luxury shoe design as founder of his eponymous company and is renowned for creating 'high-end shoes'.

Beyond his highly successful career in fashion, Weitzman is a lifelong philatelist and numismatist with a deep appreciation for one-of-a-kind objects. Growing up collecting stamps and coins at an early age in Queens, New York, he fulfilled his boyhood pursuits at the highest echelon with his acquisition of the Double Eagle in 2002 and the British Guiana and Inverted Jenny Plate Block in 2014.

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One of the most coveted coins in the world, the 1993 Double Eagle – a  $20 gold coin – is the only example that may be legally owned by an individual.

When Weitzman anonymously purchased the coin at Sotheby’s New York in 2002 for $7.59 million, it established a new world auction record for any coin at the time, nearly doubling the previous record.

The auction was conducted on behalf of the United States Government following a landmark legal settlement, which for the first and only time, authorised the private ownership of this 1933 Double Eagle alone.

At the conclusion of the sale and in an historic moment, the Director of the United States Mint signed a Certificate of Monetization turning the coin into legal United States tender – the first time the United States Government had ever monetised a coin in this way.

All of the seller’s proceeds will benefit charitable ventures, including The Weitzman Family Foundation, which supports medical research and higher education such as the Stuart Weitzman School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania. Other major Foundation projects include a museum in Madrid, the first of its kind, devoted to Spanish Judaica.

Weitzman said: 'I had a life-long dream of collecting the single greatest rarities in the two great collecting areas of stamps and coins and then placing these extraordinary treasures, hidden away for decades, on continuous public view. I determined to do that, and I did that. That was my dream. Today my dream is to leave a legacy of charitable works to which the proceeds from the sales of these treasures will go.'